Akokwa, an Avoidable Tragedy

Aug 19, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari: He has done little to douse ethnic tensions in the country

Recently, the nation woke up to yet another disturbing news of the brutal killing of two people in the sleepy town of Akokwa, Imo State, by an Hausa man which triggered off a reprisal killing of the killer and another Hausa man in the street.
Trouble started when the Hausa man was said to have chased a young woman who ran to the house of another who attempted to broker peace but instead, both the young woman and the one trying to shield her were brutally murdered by the Hausa. This enraged the people who quickly killed the Hausa man and then hit the streets in search of others.
This scenario is becoming a regular one in Nigeria, a country where human life seems to be nothing. It has been happening because of the inability (or is it refusal?) of the leadership to stamp their feet and call a spade by its name.
If it is not Fulani herdsmen killing people in host communities, it is Boko Haram or Niger Delta militants making life difficult for the citizenry. There is just too much angst in the land. But this spate of confusion and bloodletting have persisted because those better placed to stop it have either done nothing or not done enough.
One could say that there is probably more ethnic animosity today in the country than was the case a few years ago and this is no thanks to the actions and inactions of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
His appointments so far have all been lopsided to favour the north and have been done in such a brazen manner as to leave no one in doubt about his intent.
Then there is his silence on the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen who plunder their host communities across the country, giving the impression that they have a godfather that always protects them.
These developments have further divided the country rather than unite it and the attendant disenchantment has led people to mutually suspect one another.
This mutual suspicion has triggered off acrimonious relationships, leading to people resorting to brutality at the slightest opportunity. The Akokwa killings have only served to further buttress this fact.
The action of the Hausa who killed two Igbo women prompted people in the area to suspect the usual motive of ethnic hate and thus the matter spiralled out of hand.
We believe that as long as the Federal Government fails to address the ethnic dichotomy issue and sanction those at fault over all this senseless bloodletting, the Akokwa incident will continue to be replicated across the land.



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